Behavioral issues in children can range from mild to severe and all areas in between. There are specific disorders that physicians diagnose such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) among many others. However, circumstances and other family issues can also affect a child’s behavior; making it difficult to function and relate to others.
Many experts believe that engaging in creative activities such as drawing, music, or dancing helps children with behavioral issues calm down and focus well. Creative art making utilizes the part of the brain that controls emotions. Children with disorders such as ADHD often have trouble controlling their emotions; these activities can help them in this area. In addition a creative activity can allow the child to excel and express himself easier which can then be a great self-esteem booster.
When working with children that have behavioral issues, the Art Therapist may use a more structured approach to help the children stay focused and work on controlling their behaviors. There may be a reward or token system used if needed (behavior modification) and the art projects may have themes based on cooperation, sharing and communicating appropriately.